Curse of the pigskin

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Nov. 4, 2004

Dear coach,

This letter is an apology on behalf of my wife, who has put a curse on your season.

Let me explain. It was my wife, more than a year ago, who thought football players would make good tenants. I think she fantasized they'd pick up big rocks and tree limbs for her out in the yard.

But she was the first to say the football players had to go when one of your players stopped paying rent. They left the rental house looking like a bad dream that took weeks and thousands of dollars to repair. They also left a parting gift: garbage thrown down the laundry chute.

My wife was so mad at your football players that she vowed to put a curse on their season. She contemplated importing a voodoo queen from New Orleans to apply the curse expertly, but being afraid of voodoo queens herself decided to improvise a curse on her own.

Of course, I'm kidding. My wife doesn't really know how to put a curse on anything or anyone. It's probably just a coincidence that you've only won two games.

Maybe you don't believe in curses. You shouldn't. It probably messes you up mentally. Look what happened to the Boston Red Sox -- 86 years of ignominy -- just for selling a fat, good-hitting pitcher to the Yankees.

Of course, when you can blame losses on a curse you don't have to take complete responsibility for being bad. There are advantages.

People have been cursing other people since the beginning. The Old Testament is full of them. "O that thou wouldest go on a diet of crunchy, unsweetened locusts, thou Amalekite dog!" is one of my favorites.

The rental house has been vacant since June. We aren't having difficulty renting it. We're just not sure we want to. We've decided to give the house some time to breathe and recuperate, like you would a player with an injury.

We like the idea of having no neighbors and two houses to play around in, sort of a compound like junior Kennedys. A few weeks ago we rented a big-screen TV and invited friends over to watch -- nope, not a football game -- a movie. We loaded up on popcorn, beer and pizza and settled into lawn chairs in the rental house to watch the classic foreign film "Cinema Paradiso."

It's in Italian. Italians, by the way, are famous for their curses.

Have you seen the movie? Naw, you're probably too busy watching game film.

Anyway, we have your football players to thank for making us see that there are many possible uses for a house: Movie theater, romper room, garbage dump.

I was happy to see you won your recent homecoming game, and I'm trying to convince my wife that the time has come to forgive and forget, to lift the curse.

In that spirit, she sends best wishes for another win on Saturday and asked me to leave you and your team with these words of encouragement from her days in the theater:

"Break a leg."

Love, Sam

Sam Blackwell is managing editor of the Southeast Missourian.

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